Originally released on Superradio Records (a treasure trove of classic Italo) in 83, this track returned to prominence through Morgan Geist’s superb and unmissable ‘Unclassics’ project. My copy is an edit not a million miles away from the original taken from this Superradio compilation on Radius. The track utilises textbook spaceship noises, has a killer bassline, and then the synth brilliance takes over. Camp as Christmas and dripping with sleazy euro appeal this track is one of my all time favourites and today I’m sharing it with you.
Morgan Geist needs no introduction. The man has been making dance music to the highest standard for longer than i’ve been able to tie laces and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Whether working as half of Metro Area or under his various solo aliases he always brings deep and organic sounding music, retro influenced but forward facing, touching on the 80s sounds of boogie, italo, early house and techno, but always sounding fresh, original and unmistakably his own. In December last year he snuck out a very late contender that wiped the floor with the track of the year competition under the alias of Storm Queen. That track, ‘Look Right Through’ has barely been out of the box over the last 12 months and is due a rerelease on D******D (I won’t say that word) with remixes from Aeroplane, Dimitri from Paris, Art Department and Jamie Jones. So if you’re new to the track, get there quickly, it’s about to jump the shark. Thankfully, as a saviour of the underground, Morgan has seen fit to release another powerhouse in time for this year’s party season.
‘It Goes On’ repeats the trick so wonderfully pulled off in ‘Look Right Through’. He has taken what is in essence a melancholy ballad and styled it as a house track with the late 80s/early 90s aesthetic. Inside the ecstatic body moving rhythm of these tracks, hidden within the exceptional synths and flawless production lie real songs, about heartbreak, longing and resilience. This time round things are less straight forward, the track is less immediate, the progressions less classic which usually means its power will be more lasting. Things begin with a handclap, always a good start, and the key melody of a descending bassline. Things are very minor key, Damon C. Scott (returning on vocal duties) starts to tell us a tale of loss as Morgan’s synths weave their magic, and finally we’re paid off with an uplifting chorus and the hands are in the air. The highlight of the track is the detuned warped synths that follow the first chorus. Inventive, interesting and forward moving electronic music that will pack every floor it’s unleashed on.
You can find both Storm Queen records on vinyl at the Environ Shop and listen to the vocal mix of this gem below.
Mark Seven is one of my top names on the bearded disco scene and this new project is up to his usual brilliance. He first came to my attention with his standout batch of edits on Creative Use and then made major waves on the discofutura stereo with his exceptional contribution to Claremont 56’s Originals series. Last year’s ‘Pillow Talk’ on Endless Flight has been a frequent flyer in my dj sets and this single under the new moniker Parkway Rhythm follows up those 80’s club vibes in fine fashion. Metro Area styled percussion gets together with a deep kick and some shimmering boogie synths before one of those timeless synth basslines gets your shoulders moving. Sitting smack bang inbetween the smoothness of the boogie sound and the dancefloor power of proto house Mark has repeated his Pillow Talk trick and provided an absolute blinder. The 12″ is rounded out with a warehouse shaking ‘Deepa Dub’ and a dub version of the club mix for a little variety. This record is must buy and you can pick it up from here.
Life is something special, here we have an exclusive to get you moving for the week . Manchester’s finest electro-disco-post-punk-pop party starters MAY68 have enlisted the talents of Discofutura favourites Tape Warm to add some of their magic to their latest single ‘White Lies’. The Brazilian duo have muted the pop elements of the original and replaced them with deep bass, warm pads and shuffling percussion, taking the track from peak time banger at an indie disco to late night groover in the car on the way home. This is music to cruise to, the kind of thing Ryan Gosling would listen to on his car stereo before carrying out an act of extreme violence. Exactly the thing for dark winter evenings.
MAY68 have kindly given us exclusivity of this post disco gem and a limited free download in full hi fi glory as well, boom boom. The original track and its house influenced b side ‘Static’ are due for release on the 17th October on Black Duck Records. Get all over it.
Another second hand gem in the form of this oft edited Latino/Italo/Synth gem. The image I’ve gone with above is from the Ariola release because I couldn’t bring myself to search for the Movieplay sleeve (a strong contender for the worst 12″ artwork of all time). Anyway, on to the music. You’ve heard the edit on Morgan Geist’s Unclassics, you’ve got the Psychemagik edit on History Clock, and now you have the original. Marvel as those Italo electronics collide with lush Latino melodies, sway as the track melts into those super cheesy cruise ship moments, and just wait for the break in the middle with the spanish guitar. I’ve chosen to go with the Versión Orquestral but true lovers of this track and its questionable euro vocals can petition for the vocal incarnation.
Following on from yesterday’s review of the latest In Flagranti album, here’s a track that combines electro, house and disco sensibilities in much the same way as the porn obsessed duo. Coming to our ears directly from Cut Copy’s record label, Cutters, ‘Channel’ is the debut release from former Rioter (In Belgium) Joel Dickson’s new project, Nile Delta. This 12″ represents good value for money with 4 good quality cuts, 2 originals and 2 remixes, with something here for all moods. ‘Channel’ is the stand out for me, ticking a lot of boxes. Electronic disco bassline, some low fidelity boogie woogie piano snippets, crowd noise a plenty, some sampled horns. This is the standout party single the In Flagranti album was missing. Top notch. ‘All This’ presents something a little more sedate. Cut Copy bassman Ben Browning lends his unmistakable vocal stylings to a reverb drenched chugger, full of the haze of a summer day. The only downside from Joel Dickson’s point of view is that with vocals so reminiscent of Cut Copy, if you played this to me blind, I’d assume it was a remix of Cut Copy rather than a Nile Delta track.
On remix duties are Tornado Wallace and Chicken Lips who offer two very different interpretations of ‘All This’. The former offers up an atmospheric number, deep in the style of Metro Area rather than Pepe Bradock, which transplants the original from the sunny afternoon to the late night. Chicken Lips set phazers to stun and offer up one of their arpeggiated work outs, throwing a Morodersweight (the technical measurement) of analogue synths at the original and taking it up to the stars (and sort of pinching a bit from Gaz Nevada’s IC Love Affair). A high quality debut release. Get it from piccadilly.
A couple of days ago we got an unsolicited email from a Sao Paulo based disco duo, telling us about their new release. For people out there who don’t receive these kinds of emails, there might be one track in a hundred worth listening to. Thankfully for me it was a lucky day. Tape Warm comprises of Boris Kauffmann and Felipe Diniz, two fellas in love with the analogue warmth of 70s disco, the drift of Moroder’s timeless production and the clarity and precision of sound achieved by Metro Area. ‘Silver Copy’ takes all these influences and throws them together with verve and panache making a track that references early house, boogie, disco and the analogue sound of modern groups like Metro Area or Chicken Lips. This is the kind of track that Holy Ghost! could have made if they didn’t want to be popstars. It comes with a tidy little home video of a vinyl being made, and a remix by beatzforfreakz boss DJ Zeyhan. I can see this getting some heavy plays from me in the weeks to come.
Originals Vol.5 sees the turn of Foolish Felix Dickinson to take centre stage as selecta and share some hidden gems with the world. Acid aficianado, disco destroyer and general party General, Felix has plucked some gems from all corners of his collection, touching on beardo cosmic jazz meanderings, post disco, boogie, oddball pop, and some jackin’ acid. Introductions over, let’s get down to some track by track action:
1. Kolbe-Illenberger-Dauner – Fun Tango: The album opens in ambient fashion with a cosmic number from these three German new age heavyweights. Reminiscent of Vangelis the track takes a deep and trippy shape before resolving into some sun-kissed mellow guitar action for an uplifting balearic second half.
2. Q – Rain: This Q (apparently not the Q of “Voice of Q” fame) hail from Germany and deliver an electronic prog disco strut in the form of Rain. Funky in the extreme the track slips in synths, pianos, guitars, bongos, the kitchen sink, and some soulful vocals that remind me a bit of Hair. (should i say Herr) Wait for the full on freak out after 4 mins.
3. King Sporty and The Extras – Do You Wanna Dance: A nice boogie number, chugging bass synth, period electronic handclaps and all retro cons. This track grooves along nicely but is a little linear without and real highs or lows.
4. Exquisite Taste – It’s You That’s Happening : In the sleevenotes Felix tells us this is “An 80s boogie classic with a great vocal, but I always preferred this dub”, which is a spot on description really. A nice boogie number with vocals occasionally ghosting in, full of the requisite percussive touches that Metro Area love so dearly.
5. Fingers Inc – Feeling Sleazy: A big name artist, but a lesser known track, Fealing Sleazy is a minimal little Chicago number, with a suitably sleazy vocal. Stripped back and scarce on the melody it still packs enough jack to remain vital.
6. Joshua – On The Other Side : If the previous track was an exercise in restraint, then this track packs the aggression for both. A typical deep and moody bassline sits underneath some heartfelt vocals and a whole lot of jacking acid, this one is built to last at peak time.
7. Roshelle Fleming – I Know Just What You’re After: Shep Pettibone delivers a mammoth 12 minute mix of this post disco/proto house number with the vocal talents of First Choice’s Roshelle Fleming. Building and dropping, constantly presenting new melodies or textures, adding and taking away different rhythms and featuring the cut up vocal action du jour (1987) this is force to be reckoned with.
8. Ce Moi – Just Give It Up : This is an example of one of those perfect tracks that do very little, but are made up of such choice component parts that you never get bored. Great warm round bassline, great electronic percussion and some subtle but beautiful synth work. This is the true gem in this collection for my money.
9. Wide Boy Awake – Slang Teacher: This number is given to us by a founding Ant, freed from the dandy one, and at liberty to throw down a stomping bass and some bonkers half rapped lyrics with some crazy percussion. This track is more about a mood then setting a dancefloor on fire, and I would imagine is a marmite moment.
10. Gabi Delgado – History of a Kiss: This is a solo effort from one half of the legendary DAF (if they arn’t legends in your house, then listen to Der Mussolini, it is essential) and it’s a bit mad truth be told. It sounds like one half of a EBM group performing an odd tribute to Kid Creole and the Cocunuts. Not at all unpleasant, certainly a niche affair, and perhaps a grower.
11. Cryptic – Moving On (Bastedos Edit): Felix gives us one of his own extensions of one of his party bombs. Driving Percussion and synths, electric guitar licks, power chords and a bouncy bass, instrumentally this is a bit like Underwater by Harry Thumann, but has the addition of a 70’s MOR vocal, which in my eyes results in an absolute dancefloor stormer.
12. 2-Lips – Got to Get Away : The album ends on a balearic tip blue eyed soul number from this very obscure German band (so obscure research suggests they might actually be from Bulgaria). It packs a lot of power and for Djs out there would work as a pace changer of set closer, but unfortunately I can’t look past the guitar riff nicked from Strawberry Letter 23 for long enough to say anything objective.
Overall, the album is consistent and presents a coherent musical vision with every track heavily reliant on a powerful bassline, often without the addition of much in the way of melody or progression elsewhere. Whilst few of these tracks are full on dynamite, they still pack some punch, and would be worthy early doors additions to any dj sets and make good home listening. More importantly, as ever with this series, music fans everywhere would probably never have come across most of these tracks, and viewed in that light, this compilation can only be a success for music.
© Patrick Ryder @ gluefactorymanchester